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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gratitude

I've just returned from my youngest daughter's Bridal Shower.  I was invited.  My sister and my mother were invited.  People my daughter hasn't spoken to in nearly a year were invited.  Do you want to know who was not invited?  My mother-in-law, who, even though she is in poor health, is doing the alteration on the beautiful gown my daughter is to wear in less than three weeks.  Evidently she was supposed to drop by her grand-parent's house and give them the invite to the wedding as well as the shower.  Somehow, she forgot, didn't remember.  My sister ran into my in-laws while picking up the gifts and unknowingly asked if they were buying shower gifts as well, since it was this afternoon and all.  It was the obvious question.

So, I am the ONLY one who showed up from the family.  My sister and mother were very overcome by my ingrate's oversight they had to go back home. After dropping off the gifts, of course.  I had a gift. I decided not to take it to the shower as I was furious.  For those of you who know me, I remained distant, but polite.  I was not introduced by my daughter and spent the afternoon being called "Jasmine's Mom".  Like I'm not my own person but and adjunct of someone else.  For a rugged individualist such as myself, it was galling.  You can now add angry to furious.

The fact that Mt. Aetna did not erupt is not only a miracle, it is without precedent in my lifetime for me to hole my tongue when I have an overwhelming desire to reach out and slap someone.  The fact that I raised such an ingrate has not escaped my notice.  However, since she's an adult, she's responsible for her own behavior.  I can only take a small amount of succor in the fact that I know, for a fact, that she was raised better.

I wanted to enjoy her shower, see her enjoy her Bride time.  My sister and mother would have loved that as well. None of us got to experience that, as since I've made my other children swear to elope, I will not get another chance.  But, most of all, my mother-in-law, who has no true grand-daughters of her own and accepts my children as her grand children, was blindsided with this kind of snub to a child she's helped out numerous times.

To paraphrase Mr. Knightly in Jane Austen's Emma, "This was very badly done, Jasmine.  Very badly done, indeed."

Maybe I'm a dying breed.  I'm always grateful to anyone who helps me out.  I don't ask often, so when it's offered I am always thankful.  I'm very conscious when people assist me, especially if it inconveniences them to do so.  I don't see it as my due, or that they owe it to me.  I see it as a kindness they did not have to perform, but did anyway to make me happy or to assist me.  That is something that can go unappreciated or acknowledged.  It just can't.  It's unspeakably rude to do so.  And yes, I may tell you that your ass looks fat in those pants, but I will also thank you for holding my purse while I try on pants that make my ass look big. And, I expect you to tell me the same.

Gratitude is something that should never be taken for granted or forgotten.  It is exactly those people who quietly support and help you that should thank for doing what they do.  It's polite and it acknowledges that you realize what they are in your life.  It's something we don't see enough of in our society of whining, screaming beggars demanding something for simply existing on the earth.  Each one should be slapped, the moment it starts when they're children.  No one on this earth owes you anything and if they do deign to give you something or do something for you the least you can do it say "Thank You" and mean it.

I'm going to go stare at the TV for a while and try to remember that slapping her at this point does me no good at all and only gives her a chance to play the victim.

1 comment:

Sharon Scully said...

Brava mama bear... brava... for the raising... for holding you tongue.. for knowing what ought to be done and for doing it both at the shower and in all those other hours. You are an inspiration Texas... I mean it. Your NY pal.. so different yet so much the same...

Sharon Scully